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Creative Writing The Unforgettable Man

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					Creative Writing: The Unforgettable Man

 Derek Achterfeldt
 Eng 101
 10/14/96
 Remembered Event Revision


         Being an orderly at Scottsdale Memorial Hospital was a fun job
that
required a strong heart. The hospital was a great place for me to
experience
the beauty of life and the unwanted death of humans. Throughout my
year of
employment at the Community Hospital, I was able to enjoy my work by
interacting
with many kinds of interesting patients. Without the hospital, I would
have
never imagined to be carrying on conversations with most of these
people.
Aiding curses required many long exhilarating hours of work each day,
but I
loved experiencing the daily recovery of patients, in which I was able
to be
some part.
      The night of August sixth became a different story. Just as my
shift was
coming to a normal close, a nurse's call light from one of the
patient's rooms
had illuminated. On one of my many repetitive walks down from the
station to a
patient's room, I had nothing else on my mind except for my evening
plans with
friends. I was extremely happy that this would surely be the last call
light I
would be answering that shift. As I entered the room, a crying
relative came
yelling at me. "He is going, something happened, do something, do
something
now!", demanded the distressed lady standing right at the bed side. I
had seen
this man before, although I had never spoken to him. I had know idea
that he
was not in a stable health.
      "All right, all right," I replied in frustration, not knowing
exactly what
to do first. I looked at the 84 year old overweight male patient. He
appeared
very pale with his brown colored eyes half shut looking desperately at
me for
some sort of help. My mind was becoming blank, as I could not believe
what I
was about to experience. In training we were told this could happen
from time,
to time, but I never thought with me. We were also told how to deal
with the
death of a patient, although I never thought I would be a part in this
type of
situation. Regardless, I could not think straight. I could not move
as I
started to panic. I looked around before I noticed that I was the only
help
available. I became scared. I then all at once, ran out of the room,
screaming
for help to any one that would be able to hear me, "Code Blue, Code
Blue, room
219 now!" Running back into the room, I stepped behind the bed and
pulled the
call light on again. The high pitched sound was louder than ever. I
stood
there waiting, it seemed forever not knowing exactly what I should be
doing.
The young lady relative was looking at me expecting that I would bring
this man
back to life. I wanted to do just that, but I did not know exactly
how.
         Finally, two registered nurses and then a third came veering
into the
room.
      "What's happening?," the first nurse exclaimed.
      "The man just stopped breathing," I announced to every one. I
reported to
the nurses that I was unable to find a pulse and the patient's
respiration rate
could not be seen. As I backed off two nurses came racing up to the
patient
trying to locate a pulse. "Nothing, nothing," a nurse concluded as
two of them
began performing CPR. Within five extremely long minutes, the oldest
nurse
whispered, "It's too late."
         Right on the spot, the nurse had pronounced the patient dead. I
could
not believe this scene was actually taking place. For the first time I
saw a
human die right in front of my own eyes. The death to me did not sink
in my
head, until a nurse ordered me to call the funeral home, while she
would be
talking to the family. When I hung up the phone I was again in the
room alone
with a corpse who seemed to just stare at me. The room now seemed to
carry a
different indescribable scent that I will never forget. Nurse Jane
then walked
in the room. She wanted me to clean the body before the coroner would
arrive.
      Before cleaning the body, I first had to remove the IV line out of
patient's left arm. Removing the IV itself was an experience. I did
not
imagine that a dead person would still bleed. Being unprepared for the
stream
of blood, a puddle splashed out onto the spotless, white tile floor. I
grabbed
a towel immediately and began applying pressure to the IV site. After
a few
minutes, I tried sticking a band-aide on the cut, but blood still came
gushing
out. I was about to remove the oxygen tubing from the patient's nose
when I
felt that this man was still alive and watching me. I became extremely
nervous.
It looked as he was analyzing our hospital procedures. I started
trembling as I
removed the bloody towel off the bed. His eyes were still half shut as
I tried
to avoid any eye contact. In my mind I was telling myself that this
man was
just sleeping and not to worry.
        Ten minuets later, a coroner arrived pushing in an old black
stretcher.
He asked me to help him lift the body up with the under sheets onto a
hard board.
The coroner then hid the body under a thick vinyl plastic sheet. When
the body
was removed from the room I was still not at ease. I felt that maybe I
should
have done more, or done something differently. This was the first time
I have
ever had an experience with a dead body on the job. Hospital workers
always say,
you encounter many, but your first one is always the unforgettable.
After
experiencing this event, I spent a lot of time with myself thinking.
Thinking
about how precious life really is. I began to think of how important
it is for
me to experience everything that I want to, for one day I would run out
of time.
Life and death became more than just words to me. They had a special
meaning
with a lot of motivation behind them. From that day on I have spent
more time
spelling flowers and having fun, because I know one day I will not be
able to.